Showing posts with label About Dubai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label About Dubai. Show all posts

Our First Dubai Tram Ride

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We never had the chance to use the Dubai tram since it started its operation last November 11, 2014. We live far away from this side of the city and chances of using the tram is almost close to none. Most of the people benefiting from this newest public transport system are tourists and those who live and work in parts of Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Media City.

Last August, during the school vacation, we had a mini staycation at Arjaan by Rotana in Dubai Media City and the tram station was less than five minutes away from the hotel.

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The World's Longest Graffiti


Vandalism or drawing graffiti in Dubai is an offense with AED 500 fine and double (AED 1000) if repeated but the leaders of this Emirate got a better idea and took graffiti to a sophisticated level.

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Modhesh World ++

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Modhesh World hasn't changed in years, after fifteen years in operation it is still one of the happiest place in Dubai keeping kids entertained summer after summer.
My nephew and kids taking a selfie
It did got better and better each year as they bring back old and new characters kids love like hello kitty, Transformers and Angry Birds. They have also added a lot more interactive games and activities aimed at educating young minds. Prince loved lego duplo, Mica was into more physical and ask me to join her into high ropes and as a family our favorite was the famous Angry Birds interactive games and we also went ice skating.

My kids day out at Modhesh World was one of the best they have had this summer vacation including a stretch limousine round trip from our residence to Modhesh World.

Now that my daughter is back in school and my son has just started his, I have the time to share our wonderful experience.

Thank you to Modhesh World and Ahlan Dubai.

Related post is our Stretch Limo Ride and Kabayan Family Fun Day

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Cheap Eats in Dubai: Shawarma

Shawarma in Dubai cost between 3-5 AED or 1-1.5 USD per sandwich. One is enough to fill you or two if with a bigger appetite. Usually shawarma are sold at cafeterias you can find around the city. You can also have shawarma in restaurants but if you want an authentic experience I bet you will enjoy it most street style, the way it should be. It is dubbed as the city's best snack. One can never really call oneself a true blue Dubai resident if you haven't eaten shawarma coz it is a staple food over here. If you're a tourist, then it is a must try.

Shawarma stalls in Dubai opens at night only except of course those in the mall or the restaurants. Shawarma comes with slowly roasted beef or chicken, with some lettuce or cabbage and parsley, then drizzled with tahina sauce before it is wrapped in pita bread (kubus) or with flat bread. I like mine wrapped in flatbread persian style just like what you see in this picture.

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In Dubai even the tunnels are pretty too!

One more week of fasting and Ramadan will be over and you must be planning for your Eid holidays by now. It is also one week left before everything gets back to normal and when I say normal it includes working hours and the dreadful traffic we battle everyday to and from our workplaces in Dubai.

One day of getting stuck and board in traffic for two hours, maybe almost 30 minutes only at the Dubai Airport Tunnel helps me find something to while a way the time.

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A Photo Walk - Bastakiya Part 2

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My breakfast at the Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe was followed by a short photo walk inside the Bastakiya quarter. It is a tiny but most engaging neighborhood in old Dubai. The labyrinth alleys are lined with restored merchant houses with tall wind towers, restaurants and cafes, art galleries, souvenir and herb shop, mosque, and a soon to open coffee museum. Bastakiya is a charming step into Dubai's past.

What caught my attention the most was the Wall of  Old Dubai. The Bur Dubai wall was constructed in 1800 AD from gypsum and coral and serves as a defense wall of the old city.

The Calligraphy House

Visiting Bastakiya will give you a completely different perspective of what Dubai was like far from the glittering tall buildings and highly commercialized areas that we have now.

Sikka art fair is also being held in Bastakiya every year, it is designed to feature UAE contemporary art practices and initiatives. Sikka draws its names from the alleyways between the historic houses of Dubai aka Bastakiya, that serves as a metaphor for budding artists to develop their creativity and seek for their professional paths by participating in the art fair.

These wind towers or wind catchers are cultural icons of the city of Dubai. The old houses are equipped with wind towers to funnel air inside the house especially during summer, they are renovated and preserved and to this day, even some of the new buildings are designed to have wind towers for cultural display.

If you are in for some shopping while on the walking tour, there is a spice store, textile, and souvenirs store, just don't break the bank, save some for your entrance fee to Dubai Museum and Abra ride in the creek.

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Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe - Bastakiya Part 1

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Last Saturday at around 8:30 am just after I dropped my daughter at St. Mary's church for her second retreat and confession, I went to visit the nearby tourist magnet in Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai - the Bastakiya.

I have three hours of me-time as the retreat finishes at twelve, just enough time to get on this solo tour.

Bastakiya is established in the 19th Century by textile and pearl traders from  Bastak, Iran. To this day, the neighborhood houses cafes, restaurants, art galleries, a mosque, a library, spice shop, and a coffee museum is opening soon.

From Oud Metha, I took the C7 bus with a friend, we alighted opposite the building where she lives and Bastakiya is just a stone-throw away :p before I knew it I was already in one of the oldest and most historic parts of the city of Dubai.

The weather was perfect for a photo walk but I heard my tummy rumbling and breakfast was necessary. A friend was frequenting a tea house in this area and following his recommendation, I entered the Arabian Tea House previously called as Basta Art Cafe. An expansive cozy courtyard restaurant lined with flowering petunias and shaded by two huge trees. I seated myself in a table for two and Mirasol, a cheerful and pretty Filipino waitstaff handed me the menu.

While I was giving my order, two small fruits dropped from the tree above me. I pay attention to the tree, it is something similar to what I have seen outside. On that tree was Dubai Government signage chained on it saying it is a historical tree. To my surprise the tree was called Christ Thorn. I found out later on that it is the same tree species where Jesus crown of thorns was taken at the time of his crucifixion. It is also the only tree that  Muslims considered holy as it is mentioned in the Quran. The fruit of Zizyphus Espina is edible and used to make bread and also medicinal.

This huge tree has been standing here since 1960.

I look up again and instead I noticed how clear and blue the sky was. I inhaled deeply and thank God for all His blessings. For the life that I have, for this beautiful place and for the peace in my heart that the tranquility of this place brings to one soul. You probably have to come here to understand what I am talking about. Next time you are in this area, take a peek at this quaint dining place.

I ordered myself an omelet with cheese and cherry tomatoes. It comes with a fresh side salad, Arabic bread, grainy mustard dressing for the salad, and 1001 Nights tea with a small plate of balalit to complement my fruity tea.

This is a super healthy breakfast and really filling, I wasn't hungry until 3 pm.

Balalit is a traditional Emarati noodle breakfast dish made from vermicelli spiced with cardamom, saffron, rosewater, sugar, and butter.

1001 Nights tea is a black tea with a fruity flavor and has a sweet smell. Arabian Tea House has 100 selection of loose teas from Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, and India.

Having this breakfast al fresco in this splendid courtyard makes it so memorable and mesmerizing. I am definitely coming back here.

The photo frames of old Dubai on the wall are for sale as well as the teaware and so are the teas. I bought a box of loose tea and what else could it be but the 1001 Nights tea although I am surely going to try the milk oolong which is highly recommended by the girls when I come back next time.

I am now ready for the photo walk but that's going to be on the second part as this is already quite a longish post so stay tuned.

Have you been to Bastakiya or Arabian Tea House? Please share your experience on the comment box below.

Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe
Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, UAE

Arabian Tea House Cafe
Shop No 6, Thuraya Telecommunications Tower, Dubai, UAE

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How to Attest Degree Certificate in Dubai

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Attested highest education certificate or degree certificate is a requirement when processing your employment visa in Dubai. This apply mostly to professionals and managerial post. Depending on your position, the company who employs you will ask for this document when it is time to process your visa. You may want to ask them whether they need it or not because there are some position that does not require to have it although it is always better to keep it handy for future use and reference.

Attestation happens first in your home country or in the country where you graduated. It must be certified by the school, notarized by a public notary, then attested by the Ministry of Foreign affairs before the UAE Embassy in your place.

When you arrived to Dubai, the certificate must go to the Dubai Ministry of Foreign Affairs for attestation before it can be acknowledge by the immigration as an official document.

MoFA is in embassies area, at the corner of Khalid Bin Walid Road and Al Seef Road. You can alight from BurJuman Metro Station and walk but I do not recommend this during summer between May to August.

The entrance is behind the building, there is a security check, for ladies it is advisable to wear pants or if you are to wear a dress or skirt it must go below your knee. It is not allowed to use the phone so keep it silent or just leave it in the car.

After the security check, there is a counter where you will show your document and the personnel or the police will tell you how much you have to pay. It is AED 150 for this type of document (this might be subject to change without further notice)

Go to the cashier and pay, you will also have to add AED 10 for the e-dirham card and keep it for future use as it is re-loadable. Always check the expiry date of the card. This card can also be used in other government office in the UAE who accepts e-dirham payments.

Go back to the counter and get your token, or you might be given a token first before paying. Enter the attestation room and sit in the designated seat for men or women. When your token it called, go the counter and hand over your document, receipt and e-dirham card. It should be done in about in less than 10 minutes. It is not allowed to use mobile phones inside the premises.

The staff are very professional and helpful at MoFA so keep calm.

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How to Register your Tenancy Contract with EJARI

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Just recently, I needed to process the residence visa for somebody and to do that, a tenancy contract registered with Ejari is required by Dubai immigration. Since the contract is not yet registered, I went to register it myself.

Ejari is "my rent" in Arabic language but technically it means a revolutionary system that shall move Dubai real estate sector to be one of the best regulated rental market in the world.

Everybody in Dubai who lease an apartment must register their tenancy contract with Ejari especially those individuals with dependents who requires a residency visa in Dubai.

Documents you must have with you before going to the Ejari counter to register

1. Original tenancy contract and copy
2. Emirates ID or passport copies and visa page of all parties for individual (landlord/owner and tenant)
3. Copy of security deposit receipt voucher for leased unit issued by DEWA or current DEWA bill
4. Copy of Title Deed
5. Emirates ID copy of applicant (in this case, my Emirates ID because I am applying on behalf of the person)

I went to Al Manara Municipality building along Sheikh Zayed Road, by metro you can hop off at Noor Islamic Bank metro station and the building is just opposite.

Get a token for Ejari counter and wait for your turn. In my experience, waiting for my number is longer than the processing time, it took only five minutes more or less. The staff was quick and polite and will assist you with all your inquiries.

There are other Ejari counters around Dubai which you will find here.
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